Replatforming – What is it and why is it important

Replatforming – What is it and why is it important

Replatforming is a method that can make any web developer or e-commerce manager nervous, but if approached correctly, it can be extremely beneficial to your business

Digital technology advances at an alarming rate, this poses a significant challenge for companies that operate online and need to stay on top of the latest emerging trend or technique.

As a result, a website’s or mobile app’s shelf life seems to be getting shorter and shorter. This isn’t really a major problem for a brochure-ware site because redesigns can be implemented with minimal effort, although at a cost.

However, handling updates and redesigns for more complex sites and web applications becomes more complicated. E-commerce sites are a great example of this.

This is where the concept of replatforming emerges. This is the procedure for transferring an ecommerce site from one platform to another.

Why replatforming might be necessary:

Failing legacy systems

Many businesses launched bespoke services in the early days of e-commerce, when “off-the-shelf” solutions just didn’t cut it. However, updating these customised systems has become difficult and costly over time.

New features needed

A desire to incorporate new functionality in a more productive manner will be linked to this last point. Older platforms also fail to keep up with the demands of expanding companies, while modern platforms are more “futureproof.”

A fresh start

It can sometimes be best to start over from the beginning. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is advantageous in other ways as well, since company goals and priorities are often different than they were when the original site was built. Even if you’ve decided to stay with you some platform provider can it be beneficial to start again to clear out some of that legacy coding.

Outsourcing website development

Moving from an in-house development environment to a hosted or fully managed platform might be enough of a justification to make the switch, as it reduces long-term costs and complexities.

Integration

E-commerce sites are increasingly being asked to integrate with a variety of complicated and sophisticated partners and third-party systems.

Many platforms now have these features built-in as plugins, eliminating the need for time-consuming development work.

Although replatforming will entail a financial investment, the long-term return on investment would be significant when compared to what was previously in place, not to mention the additional features and functionality that will be available.

Outsourcing website development

Moving from an in-house development environment to a hosted or fully managed platform might be enough of a justification to make the switch, as it reduces long-term costs and complexities.

Replatforming - A better approach?

However, there are a few items to consider before embarking on a replatforming strategy:

Website build cost

Don’t plan to pay the same amount for your new platform today as you did five years ago for making your website. Having said that, you’ll want to make sure your project is completely costed from the start to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

Likewise, you may have had your site built very cheaply, using a basic ecommerce platform, now is the time to ask yourself was that actually cost effective? Be wary of anyone offering to build you a site in a week or two and/or for a miniscule price. If it seems to good to be true it probably is.

If you want a hosted solution, keep in mind that there will be recurring costs. If possible, choose a fixed-price option, but do not forget to factor in a contingency!

Website specification

The value of developing a comprehensive specification before speaking with suppliers is linked to the previous point. Make sure you know exactly what you want from your new site and what you need right now (and in the future).

Website functionality

Be very clear about what functionality comes as part of the platform and what has to be added on (at an additional cost). Platforms like Shopify, Magento and WordPress websites with Woocommerce require many 3rd party systems, each with additional cost. Whereas IRP Commerce Cloud has all of the features you’ll need to run a successful online company. There are no hidden fees or costly plugins only a website dedicated to your sales and profits.

Review internal processes

Do just look at finding a platform that matches your internal processes exactly, often it is easier to modify your processes to fit the new platform. Whilst no one likes change, sometimes its beneficial.

This is an opportunity to take a step back and consider how the company operates and whether it could be changed. Better to do this now rather than in the future when the site has already been built!

Service

While many platforms will be ‘off-the-shelf’, it’s very rare that you won’t need support or assistance, even if you plan to do the development work yourself or with another agency.

Check what support you will receive in the early days and on an ongoing basis too. Why not talk to other clients and get references?

Investigate all the options

From low-cost SaaS options such as Shopify, EKM, Bigcommerce to bespoke build and open source, there is an array of different options for ecommerce platforms. Make sure you consider them all and choose the best one for your business.

Strive to find the right ‘partner’

Are you a problem client? Are you being too demanding? Treat your suppliers well and you’ll get a better deal in the long-term with a website development service supplier.

Be wary of anyone that will offer to build you a site in a week or two and/or for a miniscule price. There are good deals to be done, but tread with care.

This is a significant, strategic investment for your business, so it’s worthwhile to investigating fully at this stage in your ecommerce development. It will finally pay off in the long run.

So that’s replatforming!

It’s definitely a strategy that more and more online businesses will have to tackle sooner rather than later, but approaching it in the right way at this stage will ensure you are better prepared for anything that might materialise in the future.

This is a significant, strategic investment for your business, so it’s worthwhile to investigating fully at this stage. It will finally pay off in the long run.

Need more advice contact us today

5 Points for Developing a Website

5 Points for Developing a Website

Whether you’re Looking to build a new website or already have one that’s not performing as expected here are 5 points you need to consider when building your website.

Website Design | Building your website

Clean Website Design

  • Creating a clean, pleasing template is one of the most important things to note during the website creation process.
  • A good design is appealing when building your website. Make it easy to understand, and have simple navigation.
  • Importantly, a clean design allows viewers to concentrate on the importance of your brand and content. Rather than being distracted by distracting visuals and vast quantities of text.
  • Customers also equate website design with the quality of a business or product. As a result, delivering a meaningful user experience that inspires consumers to return necessitates a clean design.
Website Functionality | building your website

Website Functionality

  • There are a few things to think about when it comes to functionality when building your website.
  • Is the website interactive in the literal sense? Are there any problems with loading or broken links? Have you checked the site’s security features are adequate?
  • Aside from these organisational concerns, it’s important to see the website’s functionality from the user’s point of view.
  • Are your site’s interaction forms, surveys, and customer reviews sections functional?
  • A customer may leave your site due to one or more of these functional issues.
Website Navigation

Website Navigation

  • When your website is confusing and difficult to navigate it can result in website customers leaving and never return again.
  • Do an in-depth site review as if you were a new user to improve the quality and attractiveness of your site’s navigation.
  • Take note of which navigation streams make sense and which do not.
  • One way to enhance a visitor’s ability to access your site (while also assisting search engines in crawling it) is to add a site map.
  • View the navigation from an outsider’s view, your visitors may not understand your internal references.
  • Use external parties to review your site and navigation.
Website Usability

Website Usability

  • Easy-to-use websites are more likely to pique consumer curiosity and generate sales.
  • Displaying product and service details in a simple, succinct manner will improve usability.
  • Make sure your website has all the functionality that a customer would like for it to be user-friendly.
  • Do visitors who are reading your blog and want to sign up for an email newsletter have to go looking for the opt-in form?
  • How easy to find your contact information?
  • Is your website’s design conducive to social networking and more engagement with your brand?
  • When it comes to improving the usability of your website, these main elements must be considered.
Website Call to Actions

Website Call to Action

  • Customers are more likely to contact your company if you have calls to action on your website.
  • A nice suggestion like “Contact us today!” shows that your company is interested in building a partnership with its customers.
  • It’s critical that calls to action are sufficient for the level of engagement a visitor has with your site.
  • If they’re new to your business, invite them to sign up for your email newsletter.
  • Make Buy Buttons highly visible with clear wording such as “BUY NOW”
  • Always have a call to action on each page or article, regardless of what you’re asking visitors to do on your site.

Fror more help and support view our page on Website Management to see how we can help you today

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Does email marketing work?

Does email marketing work?

When it comes to communicating about your brand or selling your products, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods. With studies showing for every $1 spent, email has an average $42 return on investment (ROI). When shoppers are ready to buy something, they often look for emails from their favorite stores.

Email Marketing | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

How do I get an email list?

To see the highest ROI you need to build and maintain an engaged subscriber list, made up of people who want to receive your messages. Building a clean list can be time consuming work at the outset of your email marketing strategy. There are lots of ways to find people who’ll look forward to getting your emails, but here are a few that perform the best.

To build an email list:

  • Create a signup form on your website. When people come to your website for the first time and like what they see, they’ll want a way to keep up to date about your brand. Create a form for newsletter signups and install a pop-up to collect customer data from your visitors.
  • Use a good old-fashioned signup sheet. Whether it’s at an event that you’re hosting or attending, or in your brick and mortar store. When you’re surrounded by people who are interested in what you do, provide a place for them to sign up and learn more.
  • Drive signups through social media. If you have an engaged social media following, tapping into that resource can be a way to increase your list. So share your signup form on your social channels. Also look to use paid social media ads to drive awareness of your sign up page.
  • Host a contest or offer discounts. Often you’ll need to give people an incentive to sign up for your email list. Contests work well if trying to drive awareness, promote these on your social media or on 3rd party sites. By offering discount code for a first purchase you’ll not only increase your email database but also increase your chance of conversion.
  • Make your emails easy to share. When your create beautiful, compelling email, with a lot of valuable information people will want to share them. Include share buttons and social media post builders that let the word about your emails spread quickly.
  • Build a landing page. Landing pages offer one more way to grow your email list. Using your best imagery and content, landing pages give people a clear call to action to drive email signups.

Can I buy an email list?

NO. You should NEVER buy an email list.

 

Purchased lists are ineffective, If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam and you’ll also get high unsubscribe rates. Also you will find the data is often just garbage, massively out of date.

 

  • Email platform systems do not allow the upload of such lists and it’s important that all users abide their Terms of Use, which enforce anti-spam laws. 

  • Don’t use third-party lists. This includes purchased or rented mailing lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources, including public websites.

  • Always get permission. Everyone on your list should have opted in to receive emails from you, and their permission should be express and verifiable. If you use an email platform signup form options, you can track the permissions.

  • Include an unsubscribe link. Federal anti-spam laws require you to give people a way to unsubscribe from your list in every campaign you send.
Email Marketing | Focus Ecommerce & Marketing

Email marketing tips to get you started

1. Create an email marketing plan.

To make the planning part easier, here are some best practices you’ll want to consider when devising a strategy for your email marketing.

 

Define your audience

Regardless of what you sell, you should have a clear idea of who your audience is in order to effectively communicate with them. Segment users within your audience so you can send them personalised and targeted emails that help increase engagement, build a trustful relationship and generate greater ROI.

Signup sources

Understanding where your subscribers initially signed up for your list is valuable data. Knowing where customers joined your email database can give you a better idea of how to communicate with them and where you might want to focus your marketing efforts going forward.

 

Segments and groups

The more relevant the campaign, the better the results. So once you’ve identified smaller groups of people within your larger audience, you’ll be able to create groups and segments to send more relevant and personalized emails to your recipients. There will be times when you’ll want to send to your entire list, but by segmenting your users you can significantly increase the click-through rates and e-commerce orders your campaigns generate.

 

Decide what to write

Now that you know who you’re writing to, it’s time to think about your content. What do you want to say to your audience? What is your content marketing strategy? You’ll want to send emails with purpose, that really speak to your subscribers, so always keep in mind what they signed up for.

 

Establish your sending frequency and goals

There’s nothing set in stone about how often you should email your customers, but sending too often subscribers are likely to stop opening your emails or unsubscribe altogether. Some users that run a blog or news website might choose to send daily updates to their subscribers, while other users only send twice a month so subscribers stay excited and interested about their emails. Choose to send your email campaign at a pace that suits you and your customers. Check the unsubscribe rates and the click through rates to adjust the frequency as and when its needed.

 

Email Marketing Calendar | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Make a schedule

A good way to make sure you’re staying on track is to create a content calendar to schedule your campaigns, blog posts, social media posts, and more.

Your email marketing schedule will depend on your industry, the types of content you send (content marketing strategy), and your sending frequency.

For more advice on email marketing why not get in touch to see how we can help you add email marketing to you business  – Contact us today

Pushing Instagram to help your brand shine through

Pushing Instagram to help your brand shine through

Instagram Top Tips – like many other social media channels is an ideal tool for advertising your business, idea, or event. But there are some key points you should consider.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

First Steps

The first of our Instagram Top Tips is to convert your Instagram to a business account via the settings option. This opens more options for a business, better targeted reach, advertising, and insights into your Instagram activity.

Via Facebook connect your Business Facebook page to your Business Instagram account if you have a Facebook page. Do it now.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Use Professional-Looking Photos

Generic photos will not cut it and will not attract attention. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform, so it is important to share visually pleasing content. Take photos, edit them to make them stand out from the crowd. If you cannot do this then consider outsourcing to someone who can.

You can take a new photo through the App or select one from your camera roll. Then there are multiple options to personalize your post. You can add a filter, tag other users, write a caption and add a location. Another option is to also turn off comments on this page with the advanced settings, but you want engagement,. So we suggest do not do this but monitor your posts in case you need to engage.

Facebook Creator Studio | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Schedule your Content

Currently you cannot schedule content on Instagram directly, but you can through several schedule tools and even through Facebook, using tools such as Facebook Creator Studio (You will need to a have Facebook Business page to do this).

If You have a Facebook business page there are also now various Facebook business page tools coming online which allow management of content to be posted to your Business Instagram account.

 

Schedule your content so it hits users’ newsfeeds when they are most active. Once it publishes remember to monitor it for positive and negative comment management, or in case someone asks a question as they expect a quick response. Social media is not a Mon-Fri, 9-5 task.

Other schedule tools we recommend are Hootsuite and Later.com to name a couple.

Instagram Stories | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Stories Feature

Instagram Stories is one of the channel’s most popular features to the user. These photos and videos currently disappear 24 hours after they are posted. Businesses should leverage Instagram Stories to market their products and services, getting their messages to followers that otherwise might not see regular Instagram posts in their feed due to the latest way that Instagram shows content to the user.

You can post recorded videos, still photos, live videos, videos that loop back and forth called Boomerangs. You can also add stickers to spice things up but do not overdo it and stay within your brand. You can also add very useful user tags and hashtags to drive engagement.

The stickers for polls, questions and sliding bars make it easy to interact with your users and get feedback. A good idea is to use the questions feature to hold a weekly Ask Me Anything series, a great way to engage with your audience.

 

Another way to draw attention to your brand is with Stories Highlights, which stay on your profile until you remove them. Use them wisely and select your best moments on Instagram and products if you want to attract attention.

 
Instagram Live| Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Why Not Go Live

In addition to Instagram Stories, users can take and stream live video that disappears, like Facebook Live and Snapchat. You can give customers a live look behind the scenes of interesting aspects of your business, show products or answer live questions through the comments. Like anything live there is more risk running live activity, from internet drop out, poor sound, to much camera movement, so our advice is test and get good at this before you attempt it or outsource and get help from a professional. Once the video ends, it lives in your Instagram Stories for 24 hours.

You can of course upload a video you have taken or shoot one directly through the app to post. If you choose to shoot or upload a video, you can still add filters and change the cover.

 

Interact and Engage

As with any social media platform, it is important to engage and interact with your followers on Instagram.

  • Liking content is a simple way to connect with other users. To like a photo, either double tap the image or tap the heart button under the post.

  • Commenting on posts. just the comments button and the app will take you to the comments page for that photo.

  • Mentioning another user using the @ symbol to tag other users in your Instagram comments or post captions.

  • You can tag users before you post content. Tap Tag People before sharing your photo, and then tap where in the photo you want to add a tag. The app then prompts you to type in the person’s name to search for their account. Once you have tagged other users in your photo and shared the image, other users can tap on the photo to see the people who are tagged.

  • Direct messaging to other users we have found to be a great tool on Instagram and other social media platforms: To access Instagram Direct, go to the homepage and tap the button in the top right corner. Here, you can send private instant messages, photos, and videos to other users. To send a new Direct message or DM as they are called, tap the + button in the top right corner and select Send Photo or Video, or Send Message. Once you have sent the message, you and the recipients can message back and forth. Users who are not already following you will be asked whether they want to allow you to send them photos and videos before they can view your DM.

Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Get in on the Trending Content

Hashtags are a great way to help users find content on Instagram. Hashtags can include letters and numbers, only. So do not use other symbols, as they do not work.

 

Relevant hashtags can be a highly effective tool for getting noticed. However, make sure you are using the right hashtags for your brand. Run some tests, searches and see what others are using. Use a tool like Ritetag.com to find the best results and other options.

Look at trending hashtags or popular weekly hashtags such as #WednesayWisdom or #ThrowbackThursday. These will be busy and hard to get noticed but if you need a fille or stuck for content ideas. it is a good way forward.

 

Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post or comment, but we recommend approximately 10 hashtags per post. The fewer hashtags you can use to get quality responses, the better. Using a lot of popular hashtags might earn you a lot of likes from other users, but it probably will not increase your following all that much, and the interactions you get will likely not be from people who are interested in your brand but rather those who just saw and liked your image.

 

Get in amongst the hashtags and branch out and experiment to find which ones work best for you. One good idea is to create a custom hashtag for your brand and use it all the time to drive engagement. Overtime it will start to get noticed and pull our content to other users.

Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Using the Paid for Advertising Options on Instagram

Like on other social channels paid advertising is becoming a must to get exposure to your target audience, especially for non-established brands fighting the sheer amount of content on Instagram.

 

There are three formats for advertising:

 
  • Photo ads. These look like regular photo posts, but they have a Sponsored label above the photo. They also have a Learn More button in the bottom right corner under the photo.
  • Video ads. Look like regular video posts, but with a Sponsored label on top.
  • Carousel ads. Feature multiple photos that users can swipe through.

  • All three ad formats appear in users’ home feeds.
Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Selling on Instagram

As recently as November 2020, Instagram added the Shop tab, which allows users to discover and purchase products from brands directly through the app. All a user has to do to complete a purchase is name, email address, billing info and shipping addresses. Instagram (or in fact Facebook who own Instagram) will then save that data for future transactions. There are the usual methods to pay such as credit card and PayPal.

Small businesses can also generate Shoppable posts to sell products through Instagram. A business simply creates a product catalogue connected to their account. Then you tag the product. To create a shoppable post you must have a business account and you must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. We do suggest you read the policies to avoid issues further down the line. You can create your catalogue through Facebook, Shopify or BigCommerce currently, but we suspect more options will come online as Instagram develops this area of business.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Few More Points to Note

  • Links to websites etc. do not work in Instagram captions or comments. The only place you can share a working link that takes users to a website is in your profile. If you are trying to direct people to a specific webpage, you can change the default link in your bio.

  • Make sure you BIO is strong and has a link to a page on your website you want them to land on. This might not be your landing page but could be a product page or a focused content page.

  • Stay on brand. Make sure your posts relate to your brand. It can be tempting to share photos of food, fashion, and animals because they’re popular on the platform. It can make you look disjointed and confuse your followers and turn them away.

  • Run giveaways and promotions. Post an image advertising your giveaway, sale, or contest, and ask users to repost that image with a specific, custom hashtag to enter. You can then search that hashtag to see who has reposted it and pick a winner. Remember to check the current policies for running a contest or sweepstakes, both on Instagram and your own company views.

  • Respond to other users’ comments quickly! When people comment on your photos, reply to them they want you to engage them and its look to engage. Interacting with customers and followers shows you are paying attention and care about what they say.

  • Embed Instagram posts on your website. Most websites can have an Instagram feed added to every time you post on Instagram in appears on your Website, keeping it fresh and engaging. From the desktop version of Instagram, you can get an embed code to add specific images and videos to your company’s website.

  • Look for and engage potential influencers for your brand to promote your business. It does not have to be necessarily users with huge follower numbers, although that can help, but other users will have different followers to you, and you can reach into their audience circles with your brand using influencers. This extends your reach. If you need help on this get in touch, we can help.

  • Share your posts directly to your story. With this feature, small businesses can interact with their followers while promoting their products or services. If another user posts a photo of your product or service then share if to your story, instant content, and a chance to engage your audience.

  • Use polls and other features in your stories. Instagram offers many interactive features that you can use to build online conversations and relationships. For instance, you can use the interactive questions sticker in Instagram Stories. This feature lets followers submit questions for you to answer. This is a fun and simple way to interact with your followers.

  • If you have long content, then engage IGTV. IGTV is a feature that shows long-form, vertical videos. IGTV is available in a stand-alone app and within Instagram’s app, and each video can be up to an hour long. If you get creative, you can use IGTV to market your business. Only go to this space if you have the content and capacity.

  • Use Reels. Only launched in August 2020. Reels are short-form videos (no longer than 15 seconds) that you can edit with audio, effects, and creative tools. You can use Reels to feature new products, promote your service, quick messages. This area will develop in time so come back as it gains popularity for updates on how to make this work for you.

Instagram Warning | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Do not be tempted to go off and buy Instagram followers. What you ask? Yes, you can buy thousands of followers and likes for your content even comments, for just a few pounds but Instagram is now wise to that and will:

The Instagram system will delete them as fast as you buy them.

They will not add value to your account as they will not engage your content.

Users have got wise and see when followers are real and false, so it makes you less credible as a brand.

Eventually Instagram may even shut your account down.

Final Points

  • You should also share posts to your story and be sure that your posts fit in well with your brand.
  • To get the most out of Instagram, be sure to interact with other users, use hashtags thoughtfully, post quality photos and use the Stories feature.
  • Stay true to your brand and aims.
  • Post regular content, we recommend daily.
  • Look at the paid options to get real engagement and potential traffic to your website and sales.
  • If you need help in this area of business, we would be happy to talk through the options of support with you.
 

For more advice view here or contact us 

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Creating a Content Strategy for your Ecommerce Store

Creating a Content Strategy for your Ecommerce Store

Content marketing, clearly described, is the process of producing original, high-quality content targeted at a specific audience, attracting their interests and addressing their points of pain. Creating a content strategy means instead of making a hard sell, by offering useful information that earns goodwill and interaction, it usually promotes a brand, service, or product.

Creating a Content Strategy| Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

The primary objective of this initiative is to convert consumers to buyers, directing them through the process of meeting their needs in the sales funnel, to prove yourself to be a credible source of knowledge, to position yourself as the best placed authority to assist them, and then to convert interest to paid business and a valuable ongoing connection.

The advantages of a well-executed eCommerce content strategy include:

 

  • It drives new traffic to your website.
  • This promotes confidence in your brand.
  • With the all-important conversions, it can help.
  • It can create a separate revenue source.
  • It can provide enduring value with its evergreen material.

 

1: Identify Your Target Consumer

When your creating a content strategy you need to know who your buyer is in order to create e-commerce website content targeted to consumer needs. You can create content targeted at them by creating a character or fictionalized image of a customer or buyers based on real data and

marketing insights, refining it depending on what part of the sales funnel you position it and which part of the purchaser’s journey you are targeting.

For instance, without any sales message, you will provide content customized to their needs at the top of the sales funnel. Further down the funnel, once you’ve won their confidence, you might start providing potential solutions to customer problems and have a more tailored sales pitch to convert them to paying business.

The things you will want to know for your buyer persona include:

  • Demographics: Gender, age, location, or other concrete identifying information.
  • Personality: Whether they are lazy, super productive, sceptical, optimistic, or have other traits, the personality profile will help determine their shopping behaviour.
  • Motivation: Are they learning more about your goods and industry on your e-commerce site? Are they ready to buy, or are they just shopping for windows? Understanding customer motivation allows you to customize content accordingly.
  • Pain points: What do your customers find frustrating? If you understand this, you can provide a solution to their issues.
  • Preferred content channels: Knowing your customers’ preferred sites, social media channels, and apps can tell you how best to reach them.

2: How Does Your Audience Consumes Content

You should find out how your audience wants to consume content to target them the same way for your e-commerce website content by looking at your internal data or researching market trends.

Some questions you’ll want to answer include:

  • What’s the most popular social media channel for my target audience?
  • Is there a specific type of content they prefer, Images, video, long form content?
  • Does my target audience prefer to make purchases via a mobile or desktop?
  • What length of time is my target audience willing to spend reviewing content?
  • Use your Google Analytics to track how people are coming to your site

3: Research and Create Your Content

For creating a content strategy you need to do some research at the front end to build an efficient content strategy for e-commerce. For instance,

  • Brainstorm: Work with a small group of people invested in the process, with strong contributions.
  • Competitive SEO Evaluation, Looking at how rivals’ domain names work in search rankings and keyword gaps, to find out what choices are available to create content against fresh search words.
  • Understanding the content being produced by other brands: Use a tool like Google Alerts to keep notified about brand mentions online, keeps you up to date of trending content.
  • Think outside the box if an idea seems stale because it been done many times, try flipping it on its head to come up with a new perspective.

4: Publish Content Based on your Buyer’s Journey

The sales or marketing funnel is divided into three parts a top, middle, and bottom that corresponds to various parts of the purchaser’s path.

The top of the funnel is the process of customer exploration or understanding, where you prove that you know their points of pain. Your content is easily found and consumed at this stage.

The content offers solutions to issues without any particular sale of your product or service, whether by blogging, social media marketing, search engine marketing, or any other medium.

 

The middle section of the Sales & Marketing funnel is the step of evaluation, where you engage with your prospective clients more profoundly, building confidence. You have proven that you know their points of discomfort, and now you can start pointing to solutions that will assist them. Where you tried to educate customers before, you are now leading them to the right responses.

Here, the items you offer might include comparison guides, case studies, and even free samples. Consumers usually do extensive research on the subject at this point, including whether your approach is the right match for them.

 

The bottom of the sales funnel is the purchase stage, where people put their money where their interest is. Here is where you prove that your outstanding value is just too much to be passed by. At this purchase stage, you might use live chat, a chatbot, or emails to customers at the point of buying or retargeting/remarketing to keep your message in front of someone at the tipping point.

 

The Decision stage, where people put their money where their interest is. Here is where you prove that your offer is just too good to miss out on. At this decision stage, at the point of purchase or retargeting/remarketing, you might use live chat, a chatbot, or emails to customers to hold your message in front of someone at the tipping point.

 

5: Measure the Results

Since creating a content ctrategy on ecommerce websites is typically an ongoing operation, and not a one-off thing, you need to look at the results from past attempts to enhance those that are going forward.

 

Good metrics will inform you what sort of investment return (ROI) you have accomplished. Progress may be evaluated by such factors as:

Organic traffic, Leads, Conversion rate, Time on page, Social shares, Engagement, ROI, Backlinks

 

Bear in mind that the specific metrics you want to measure will vary depending on the content type. Some forms of content and the metrics on which you would want to base performance include:

  • Blog posts/articles: Key performance indicators (KPIs) range from website traffic and unique visitors to page views per visit and geographic trends.

  • Email: Indicators include open rate, conversion rate, and click-through rate.

  • Social media: Followers/fans, Likes, and post reach are among the KPIs.

  • Videos: These include unique viewers, shares, and average view duration.

  • Podcasts: Downloads, subscribers, and shares are included here.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns: The many KPIs range from cost per click and click-through rates to cost per sale and impressions.

At Focus Ecommerce & Marketing we have the tools to help you measure the performance of your content activity. We can analyse various pieces of content and tailor that content to meet your specific needs.

 

6: Ask for Customer Feedback

Listening to what your clients have to say is a huge part of enhancing the content you deliver and making sales. Knowing what your customer feels about your sales process is vital for potential progress, whether you send a follow-up note, review live chat recordings, perform customer interviews, evaluate documented sales calls, track social media networks, or employ other means.

Some ways customer feedback can help your ecommerce content strategy include:

 

  • Ensure you have an effective customer support service: Customer feedback is one way to help gauge whether you have a sustainable customer support system, which ultimately can help keep sales coming in.

  • Qualitative feedback about content: Although we have suggested ways to get data, qualitative feedback is also very valuable. Through customer surveys, you can figure out whether your content is helpful to your customers. The more helpful your content, the more likely you will find more people who want to use your product or service.

  • Potential to use feedback as promotional content: Arguably, the biggest benefit to customer feedback is the possibility of using it to persuade new customers. Testimonials are a great way to add value to your brand and hopefully increase your bottom line.

 

What Are Some Types of Effective Ecommerce Content Marketing?

When developing an ecommerce content strategy, there a variety of content types at your disposal. Focus Ecommerce & Marketing can assist you with any of the following:

 
  • Blogging: Blog posts are fundamental to the majority of content marketing strategies, building customer relationships, delivering leads, and lending themselves to search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

  • Original photography: In this digital age people are unable to touch what your goods, using photography helps to make up for this fact. Create a set of images for each product, tagging them correctly will help search engines understand what you are offering. Create lifestyle shots so people can imagine wearing or using the item.

  • Video content: Videos create an immersive experience and are proven to drive up the number and size of sales. Social media channels recommend the use of video as a way of increasing engagement.

  • Product guides: These can attract more traffic to your ecommerce website as people look for more information about products and services.

  • Customer stories: Customer testimonials, reviews, case studies and user generated content.

  • Email marketing: Even just confirming orders, notifying buyers about shipping and package delivery, and doing a follow-up gives you multiple chances to communicate with customers and build relationships.

 

The most effective ecommerce strategy combines all of these elements. All brands, large and small need to invest in content marketing because it is crucial to attracting new business and staying competitive.

We can provide a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to boost your online selling presence, whether it’s to get more traffic with organic and paid searches or create unique content that meets marketing and sales goals.

 

The End For Magento 1 Support

The End For Magento 1 Support

On the 30th June 2020, Adobe has finally ended its support of Magento 1. (hopefully this should not be a surprise)

When Adobe made its acquisition of Magento, the company had already transitioned over to Magento 2 and has only been fixing bugs, security issues and adding very little in the way on any new features.

This has kept many Magento 1 stores from being upgraded, according to a recent report there are around 100,000 websites still running M1.

So what does the future hold for those stores, well with the ending of support the likelihood is:

  • Your store will no longer be PCI DSS complient
  • M1 sites will be more exposed to security risks and increased likelihood of an account data compromise due to the lack of security upgrades.
  • Hackers are going to try and find the flaw in your version1 platform.
  • Plugins and extensions may stop working or become unavailable.
  • Developers will stop developing on V1 and move all resources over to M2

 

PCI DSS complianceis essential for online retailers who are not offloading the secure order and payment processing to another platform, independent of the merchant’s website. But even merchants who are not storing sensitive customer data such as payment details and card information, could be at risk to cyber attacks which could be costly to the business.

So why have so many merchants not made the change to Magento2, it might be the view don’t fix whats not broken, the time and effort to upgrade, the cost and lets not ignore this factor, M2 is not exactly cheap, you can’t just switch your current M1 version to M2.

So what should you do if your running an old version of Magento, well its not just going to stop operating on the 1st July 2020, but you need to make a decision, your not tied to Magento (unless your on Commerce and still have a running contract) there are other options you could look at; Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce to name a few.

Now is the time to evaluate, is there a more cost effect platform that suits your needs, could your site benefit from a redesign bring it upto date, what functions do you want etc.

 

And if you need help with evaluting your requirments then please just give us a call

Magento 1 End of Life

Magento 1 End of Life

Prepare for the Magento 1 end of life, what you need to do next. Magento has officially announced that support for all versions of Magento 1 will become end on June 1, 2020.

Magento End of Life | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

What does Magento 1 end of life mean for you? This means that no quality fixes or security patches will be deployed by Adobe for Magento 1 after this date. So, if you are using Magento 1, you will need to migrate to either Magento 2 or an alternative platform ideally before June 1, 2020. If you do not, your business could be vulnerable to security breaches, and will not comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

 

Why you need to migrate

If you continue using Magento 1 after June 1, 2020:

 

Your risk of a data breach will increase

Magento 1 users will become a security target after June 1, 2020. The damage to your brand and reputation from such a breach can be long-lasting and very expensive.

 

You may not be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

The PCI DSS global standards are set by card schemes (such as Visa and Mastercard), and apply to all merchants that process payments. One of these requirements, Requirement 6, is that you will implement security patches to keep your payment-related systems safe and secure.

If you continue using Magento 1 after June 1, without additional security measures, you may no longer comply with this Requirement as Magento will stop releasing security patches. As a result you can be fined between 10,000 and 25,000 EUR per month by card schemes.

 
 

Unfortunately M1 and M2 are fundimentally different, so its not going to be just a case of moving your current site over to Magento2, so now is a good time review your current site and develop it into something even better than before.

 

Unsure what to do next, then get in touch with us at Focus Ecommerce and we can help you through the process and assess your options for either Magento2 or an alternative such as Shopify, Woocommerce etc

 

For advice on how best to proceed Contact Us today for a chat or view our Full Service Eccommerce details

Magento End of Life | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Boost Your Online Sales Part 1 – Embrace Online Reviews

Boost Your Online Sales Part 1 – Embrace Online Reviews

Don’t ignore the power of your customers. An online review is as like recieving a personal recommendation and at the end of the day its the opinion of your customers that count.

Showing online reviews indicates your a honest online business and not trying to hide anything from your visitors. Whilst not all reviews will be good you should not hide away from these, rather you should embrace them and use to improve you business practices.

Your team should be giving 100% excellent customer service. Any bad online reviews should move you to evaluate your company procedures. Poor product reviews again should force you to re-evaluate, was it a one off, is there a persistent issue, if so should you buy that product again?

Keep the Good and Bad

Don’t feel that by having 1 or 2 negative reviews as detrimental to your business, its how you deal with that negativity that counts.

Be open and honest, most review systems will allow the option to leave a response, make sure you do. Make it an honest response, if you messed up – fess up! Mistakes happen people just want to see how you deal with these issues. Apologise for the inconveince, ask the customer to get in touch or indicate what you did to resolve the problem.

Keep the response polite and to the point when online. You will want to be contacting the customer directly as well to resolve it fully. Dealing with any issues will give that customer the confidence to hopefully come back and purchase again.

Use a Review Plugin

There are plenty of plugins nowadays that will help you manage reviews without major developer involvement and there are options to suit all budgets. So there is no excuse not to add reviews to your site, unless you have something to actually hide.

 

In other words online reviews benefit everyone. Ultimately boosting your merchant credibilty, improving your seach rankings and increasing conversion rates, how can you continue to ignore them?

Contact Focus Ecommerce & Marketing to see how we could help you.